English Sir Bill Beaumont, President of World Rugby, visited Chile for the first timeto know the reality of sport in our country, and spoke exclusively with Al Aire Libre in Cooperativa on the classification of Los Cóndores to the World Cup, highlighting the work carried out by the Federation, and maintained that the tournament in France will mark the “beginning of a journey to build” the future of national rugby.
In addition, the former England captain, aged 70, also spoke about the competitions planned by World Rugby on the continent, the negotiations for Chile to participate in the Asia Pacific Tournament, and the candidates to win the World Cup in France in 2023.
Check out the dialogue with the World Rugby chairman below:
How was the experience in Chile?
– Absolutely enjoying here in Santiago on my first visit and having a very rewarding day.
What can you tell us about Los Cóndores’ first qualification for a World Cup? For us it was a very pleasant surprise.
– I would say not, for the progress they have been making, the work they have been doing in the Federation and their results with good technical management and administration. And also beating the United States, demonstrating their ability to be among the 20 teams in the next world cup.
For Chilean rugby it is a dream come true to participate in the World Cup, something that seemed impossible.
– It is the dream of any rugby player to be in a World Cup, it will be hard it will be very hard to be there, I repeat it is what any player wants to be there and play against the best, to be in a world-class competition , and Chile has achieved it and will be in that position.
Being in the World Cup is an achievement, but the Los Cóndores group is something else, because of its difficulty.
– In addition to Japan or Samoa, neither is easy, it is very hard, but It will be a great learning for the team and I think the important thing is that when they come back from the world cup is that they are going to start building, this is not the end of the journey, it is the beginning of the journey, that’s what you have to be clear about, what’s really important is that you don’t have to be disappointed by the results, because this is going to be very difficult and tough in terms of results, we must build from this experience so that the young people and children watching the world cup say, I want to be part of this in the future.
For the first time South America will have three South Americans in the World Cup. What is your vision on the development of rugby in this region?
– This is fantastic news for the region. It is a registered trademark. Argentina and Uruguay are already regulars and Chile is now entering. It shows that it is a world-wide booming sport, it shows that it is not only concentrated in the already established nations and that the game needs to expand South America and North America, they are on that path and there is already growth in the game.
Except for Argentina, in this region the majority is in tier (level) 2 worldwide. What can be done to keep growing?
– We want to contribute so that this level of Tier 2 can be surpassed, we want that level of play to be surpassed and what we have to do is look for permanent tournaments. It is what we are talking about here with the Federation, so that they can enter the Asia Pacific competition and having a permanent calendar and Chile having a fixed calendar where they can prepare, is the way in which the level of play can improve and not have to wait every four years World Cup qualifying matches.
Although the World Cup is the best, there are steps before to prepare and be more competitive.
What are your expectations for the World Cup to be held in France next year?
– It looks very exciting there is a good group of countries with possibilities and it is very difficult to talk about favorites but there is France playing at home is an advantage for them. This France, New Zealand, Ireland with great success, this England, which also has a chance. South Africa, who are the current champions, are not going to give up their crown easily, they are going to be very competitive, I think It’s going to be a very open World Cup, as it has been for many years, there are at least five-six teams that can win.
In the remaining time in office, what changes would you like to make in world rugby?
– We are all the time looking and looking for what changes to make we want to make a more accessible game, make the game better, it is about the evolution of the game and from my point of view, try to make everything faster, especially in the Scram and in The Line Out, that has to be faster.
In November we will have a conference on the game where we are going to discuss all these issues and how we can make it better I think today we have a better product but it can always be improved
To close, who is going to win the Rugby World Cup in France?
– Who will win is a very good question. It’s impossible for me to answer that, but I’m going to say that I hope Chile does very well in the world cup.
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